eNews: Friday 10th January 2020

From Graham Malcolm, Interim Executive Head

Welcome back to the Lent term.

I’d like to thank you all for the warm welcome I’ve received at St Michael’s – it’s very nice to be back!

As you may know, I taught at St Michael’s as Deputy Head between 1991 and 2000 and it’s good to see that the ethos of the school has remained unchanged. I’m gradually meeting all of the children, who are a delight and I’m impressed with the professional and caring staff, to whom I extend my thanks.

I look forward to experiencing the joy of St Michael’s again and to sharing memorable moments with you all.

Graham Malcolm




From the Deputies

We have enjoyed hearing all about the exploits of the children over the festive period and the presents and experiences they have had with family and friends, around the world. With the ever-increasing development of devices we do hope that the simple pleasure of spending time in the company of loved ones isn’t lost to future generations. The start of the Lent term would be noticeably less fun were we to lose the oft-told anecdotes of elderly relatives and their mishaps involving dentures and Brussels sprouts at the dinner table on Christmas Day!

The start of a new term is a time for targets, goals and fresh starts. In our first Prep assembly on Tuesday morning, we looked at the history of New Year resolutions. We apparently have the ancient Babylonians to thank as the forerunners for our current custom. When it was explained that originally this was a time to repay debts and return borrowed items, there were a few pointed glances around the room, with the look of missing PE kit in some children’s eyes!

Thinking of New Year’s goals, we were excited to launch our own RED January in assembly today. At St Michael’s the RED stands for Read Every Day and we hope that you will encourage your children to join in this initiative, and perhaps take part yourself.

As always, should you have any questions or matters you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact us.

Mrs Bridges and Mr Wiseman

Staff News

A warm welcome to Sonia Flavin, who joins St Michael’s as Teaching Assistant in Pre-Prep.

Sonia left her career within the property industry in 2011 to have her first child. In the meantime, she has been a full-time mother whilst also studying. She completed an Access to Teacher Training Diploma in 2013 and, prior to having her second child, was a Year 2 Teaching Assistant in Bromley.  She further developed her academic knowledge by passing her Early Years Foundation Degree in which she graduated last year and has plans to continue her studies to become a qualified Primary Teacher.

Sonia enjoys keeping active and spending quality time with her children.

She is looking forward to joining St Michael’s to provide outstanding care and support to the children and the staff.


An equally warm welcome to Rebecca Sims, who is joining the Prep school as a Learning Support Assistant and Teaching Assistant.

Rebecca has worked as a teaching assistant in a local village school for the past two and a half years. During this time she has gained a vast amount of experience and has formed good working relationships with both pupils and parents/carers.

She enjoys helping those around her strive to be the best they can be, whilst making them feel proud of their achievements. She has a very kind, caring nature and is extremely hard working.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and enjoys travelling and exploring new places.

Rebecca is really looking forward to being a part of the St Michael’s team and is looking forward to getting to know everyone and utilising her skills.


News from Pre-Prep

• New staff in Pre-Prep
• Fri 10th Jan Year 2 parents – English workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 17th Jan Year 1 parents – English workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 24th Jan Reception parents – English workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 31st Jan Year 2 parents – Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 7th Feb Year 1 parents Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am
• Fri 28th Feb Reception parents Maths workshop 8.45-9.30am

Happy New Year and welcome back to the Lent term. I hope you all had a good Christmas holiday.

Welcome to Sonia Flavin our new teaching assistant in Pre-Prep who will be working in RJ with Mrs Jeffery on Thursdays and Fridays.

This term we have a series of maths and English workshops for parents of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. These will be held on Friday mornings after drop-off. If you would like to know a little more about how we are teaching your children, please pop in to the dining room on the relevant date.

I am looking forward to meeting with the class reps over the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions you would like them to ask, please email your class rep.

One small reminder, if you are walking down to the playground with your children in the morning please park in the car parks and not in the drop off lane. Thank you for your co-operation.

Overheard: “You can tell these are definitely Bluewater trainers not Sainsbury’s ones.”

Have a lovely weekend,

Zerrin Leech

Registration for Nursery and Reception 2021

We are in the process of sending out offers for places in our Nursery and Reception classes for September 2021.

If you are looking for a place for your child in either of these year groups, please contact Jenni Rye, Admissions Assistant on 01959 522137 ext 207 or email her on jrye@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk


On this week’s Message Board

Please log into our Parents’ Portal and click into the Message Board to see new important information as follows:

  • Inter-House Senior and Junior Drama Duologue Competition
  • Online Safety presentation by Lorin LaFave – booking now open

On this week’s Community Events page

Please log into our Parents’ Portal and click into the Community Events page to see important community information.

News stories

Our news stories can be found by clicking “News” and “Latest News” on our website. To see our latest articles please click here

We are delighted that both our lovely St Michael’s mums and Year 5 pupil, I Sharma, have been mentioned in the latest edition of Attain magazine (a copy should be coming home with your children in the next few days). Page 42 features our mums’ Hever 10k run in support of “Sevenoaks Welcomes Refugees” and page 47 features I Sharma’s achievement in bringing home a gold medal in the European Yoga Championships.

Pre-Prep Awards

Gold Stars

Isaac for being loud and clear during the Nativity
Lottie E for always being an enthusiastic helper
Sam S for fantastic speedy working out of how to make 10
Emily P for wonderful independent work on ways of making 10
All of RM for a fantastic start to the new term! We are very impressed
Bonham B for excellent effort in our phonics lessons
Arthur S for fantastic effort and enthusiasm in our number lessons
Lawson B for improvement in reading
Kieran P for fascinating holiday homework all about the history of his house
Robert M for an excellent start to the term and super effort with his writing
Max H for great effort in improving his handwriting
Benji S for reading at a good pace with some lovely expression
Hugo M for working hard on his spellings in the holidays
Florence B for her re-enactment of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ in our PE lesson
Luca C for outstanding improvement with his handwriting
Alexander H for being a great king in Mrs Leech’s assembly
Mickey M for fantastic writing about the Christmas holidays

House Point Cup

Leeds House with a total of 45 points
Genevieve M collected the Cup on behalf of Leeds House

Times Tables Certificates

Gold – Eva V H, Florence B
Silver – Jake L
Bronze – Eva F

News from Prep

Headteacher’s Stars

O Gasson For a fantastic Homework Challenge presentation, including trailer!
O Court For an outstanding play script written for your Homework Challenge, including props and stage direction!
E Wilcock For a brilliantly created app with excellent data input
D Verdamato For a wonderful video diary and written diary about Sir Edmund Hillary
P Mahil For a fantastic video diary of Marco Polo
E Porter For a fantastic video diary of Helen Sherman
M Lewis For an outstanding poster, showing electricity in the home
H Brown For completing your times tables card

RED January

In the Prep school assembly today we launched RED January, an initiative to encourage children to Read Every Day. Pupils have been given a large red sticker to put in their homework diary and we have asked them to tick off a numbered square for every day that they read between now and 31st January. Reading at school and at home both count. Happy reading!

Mrs Baisch and Mrs Andrade

Players of the Match, week commencing 6th January 2020

Team Name Given for: –
U13 Rugby K Cameron For great all-round play
U12 M Blincoe For great tackling
U11 A No Match
U11 B S Ward For good tackling
U10 A O West For playing consistently well at the breakdown
U10 B A MacRae & R Browne For superb all-round play
U9 A S Taylor For great defensive line speed
U9 B J West For good tackling and scoring good tries
U8 A W Pennington Legh For showing good aggression
U8 B T Staples For scoring 4 tries
U8 C G MacIntosh For a superb defensive display
U13 A Netball No Matches for girls this week
U13 B
U13 C
U11 A
U11 B
U11 C
U10 A
U10 B
U10 C
U9 A
U9 B
U9 C
U8 A
U8 B
U8 C

Senior School Open Days, Scholarships and Events

These can now be found on our Senior School page. 

Upcoming events include Oakwood Park Grammar School, St Olave’s Grammar School, Skinners’ School and Whitgift School.

Rose Hill School Future Schools’ Evening

Rose Hill School (Coniston Avenue, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9SY; Telephone: 01892-525591) are holding a Future Schools’ Evebubg on Tuesday 28th January from 7pm. They would be delighted to welcome any St Michael’s parents, who would like to join them.

Over twenty independent secondary schools will be in attendance, including Tonbridge School, Sevenoaks School, Bede’s, Bethany School and Hurstpierpoint College.

Please register in advance with clare.rowton@rosehillschool.co.uk 


Latest News

The governors of St. Michael’s Prep School take pleasure in announcing the appointment of Nik Pears as our new Head Teacher with effect from January 2021.

Nik was educated at St Dunstan’s College, London and is a graduate of Cambridge University. He is currently Head of Prep at Kent College Pembury, a post he has held since 2016. Prior to that, he was Headmaster of the Junior School at Sevenoaks Prep for 5 years. Nik is also an ISI inspector and a governor at Dulwich Prep, Cranbrook. We believe that he has the experience and qualities required to lead St Michael’s into the next chapter of its history.

Nik represented Kent U18 group at rugby and has a love of all sports. He is an accomplished musician and has performed at The O2 and Wembley Arenas. He is an Ambassador for “We See Hope”, a charity working with orphans and vulnerable young people in sub Saharan Africa. Nik devised The Social Entrepreneurs Project an initiative that challenges young people to turn £10 seed capital into £100 or more with their profits going to support the work of the charity.

We feel very fortunate to have secured Nik’s headship and welcome him and his wife Emma and two children, Jessica and Josiah into the St. Michael’s family from the start of next year. Nik has said

“I am delighted to have been appointed the next Head of St Michael’s Prep. Having lived in the area for the past twenty years, it is a school I have known and long admired for its ambitious and child-centred approach to learning. There is a very special atmosphere in the school and I am excited to become a part of the community, getting to know the children, parents and staff over the months and years ahead. St Michael’s is privileged to have an experienced and committed Senior Leadership Team and I very much look forward to working together with them as we embark on an exciting future for the school.” 

Some of our super St Michael’s Swimmers have won an array of silverware at recent events.

At the Sevenoaks Swimming Club presentation evening, I Pennington Legh was presented with the Kingsbury Cup for U10 girls; A Green was awarded the Kingsbury Cup for U10 boys; E Green received runner up plate for the best U9 boy; S. Taylor was awarded the Mike Radford Trophy for most improved U9 boy; A Ashton was presented with the U9 Individual Medley Cup and U9 trophy for most improved swimmer; B Tovey and J Taylor were both awarded plaques with their positions from the recent Sevenoaks Club Championships.

At the Black Lion Gala, Gillingham, at the start of March our swimmers again came away with medals. A Ashton won three gold, one bronze, one fourth and one sixth medal; A Green three gold and two silver medals; E Green four silver and one bronze medal; S Taylor one silver and one fourth medal and J Taylor a fourth position medal. V Medlen also came away with a medal from the gala.

Well done to all those swimmers; your hard work and dedication is certainly paying off!

Mrs Denton

Swim School Manager

Well done to our doubles girls, E Julio and S Savidge, who also played in last weekend’s Junior Orange Ball Tournament in Sevenoaks. They played four matches, won two, beating Sevenoaks Prep and Lady Boswell’s and lost two to the eventual finalists Amherst and Granville.

This was a great performance by the girls, particularly in the light of little experience of Orange Ball competition.

Well done!

With around 20 pairs competing, representing 9 schools, pupils S Taylor, D Booth, J Vanderlanh-McKeown and J McDonnell were proud to represent St Michael’s at the Sevenoaks Junior Orange Ball Doubles, held at the Sennock Centre in Sevenoaks on Saturday 7th March.

S Taylor and D Booth started their Orange Ball tournament well with a win against Lady Boswell’s, before losing to a very strong team from Sevenoaks Primary. They followed with a close match against Amhurst Primary which they lost 7-6 and needed two wins from their remaining games to make the final stage. They won the first quite easily against Russell House and then had a tight match against Sevenoaks Prep. It was neck and neck throughout, but they kept their cool and won 7-6.

Their tally of three wins to two losses saw our Year 4 pair through to the play-offs. They had two games against a Year 5 pair from Sevenoaks Prep and New Beacon. They lost both games narrowly, 7-6 and 7-5, finishing 6th overall, which was a good performance given they’re at the younger end of the Orange grouping and the standard of the competition was high.

J Vanderlanh-McKeown and J McDonnell both demonstrated strong teamwork, good sportsmanship and skills. They came up against some strong competition from the other schools but never gave up and kept competing to the end with some great saves, serves and volley. The boys also showed respect towards others and maintained a positive attitude at all times. Both boys really enjoyed the tournament and look forward to improving their position at the next one.
It was great to see both pairs supporting each other throughout the games! Very well done, keep up the good work!